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Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das take charge of Indian archery at Tokyo Olympics

Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das are the only two Indian archers remaining at the Tokyo Olympics

Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari

Indian Archers Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari (Source: Atanu Das/Instagram)


Manish Sharma

Updated: 29 July 2021 9:54 AM GMT

When Pravin Jadhav started his Tokyo Olympics campaign with a 31st place finish in the men's individual ranking round in Archery, there was a sense that India might just taste some good amount of success at the games. Pravin finished ahead of Atanu Das and Tarundeep Rai who had a rank of 35 and 37 respectively which wasn't that bad either.

On the other hand, Deepika Kumari, who's India's only representative in the women's division also had a good start with a ninth-place finish in the women's individual ranking and on Day 0 it looked like all the four archers are ready and geared up to have a strong showing at the Tokyo Olympics.

However, here we are on Day 6 of the Tokyo Olympics and the future of Indian archery rests on the shoulders of Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das.

Bright start fizzled out quickly

In the individual event, Pravin Jadhav won his 1/32 elimination game in an impressive manner with a 6-0 score. But he was knocked out in the following match by the American, Brady Ellison, quite comfortably. Similarly, Tarundeep also won his first game but was then knocked out in the 1/16 elimination stage by the narrowest margins, losing 5-6 against Israel's Itay Shanny.

Both the two shooters along with Atanu Das were also part of the men's team event, where they started strongly against Kazakhstan winning the game by 6-2. However, the joy was short-lived as they had to face South Korea in the quarter-finals.

Against the trio of Kim Woo-jin, Kim Je-deok, and Oh Jin-Hyek the Indian men's team stood no chance and lost 6-0. The Korean team would then go on to win the gold medal, further highlighting how difficult a task it was for the Indian contingent.

Pravin Jadhav, along with Deepika Kumari, was then also knocked out from the mixed team event in the quarter-final stage, once again by South Korean opponents.

And then there were two

While the team events may not have been that successful, Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das have kept the Indian hopes alive in the individual events.

Deepika Kumari has so far won two games against opposition from Bhutan and the United States but she's still yet to hit her peak form at the Olympics.

Atanu Das on the other hand has looked good so far in his individual events. The 29-year-old defeated Deng Yu-Cheng of Chinese Taipei in the 1/32 eliminations with a 6-4 score. He then followed it up with another victory against South Korea's Oh Jin-Hyek.

It was a closely contested match that was eventually decided in a shoot-off, with Atanu hitting a 10 that sealed the victory in his favour.

Atanu Das would be up against Takaharu Furukawa from Japan on Saturday while Deepika Kumari would be facing Russia's Ksenia Perova on Friday.

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